The police investigation into a stabbing rampage that left a young woman dead and injured six others in and around a library in North Vancouver on Saturday is still in its early stages but there is no evidence to link the accused to any of the victims.
Police spoke on Monday about the shocking crime outside the Lynn Valley Library at a news conference carried live.
A 28-year-old man was charged Sunday with second-degree murder. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said Yannick Bandaogo is in police custody after undergoing surgery for self-inflicted wounds.
Insp. Michelle Tansey, acting officer-in-charge of IHIT, said police are still trying to uncover a motive for the crime.
“I realize that this is a profound and tragic incident,” Tansey said. “IHIT is committed to completing a full and complete investigation, leaving no stone unturned.”
They are also trying to understand why Bandaogo came to B.C. and North Vancouver, where he seems to have no ties. Police are unsure when he arrived in B.C.
Bandaogo, Tansey said, has no fixed address. He has ties to Quebec and a criminal history there including violent crimes. She said he had outstanding warrants in Quebec and Winnipeg.
Tansey was asked if radicalization was a factor and she said there was no indication it was. She said mental health is always examined as a factor. “Everything is being assessed at this point.”
IHIT said Bandaogo’s first court appearance was supposed to happen Monday but it was postponed.
‘Lynn Valley Library is a peaceful place’
Police have not named the woman who died, but said she was in her 20s. Tansey said the victim’s family has asked for privacy.
Six others were injured in the attack at the Lynn Valley Public Library. Police said their injuries vary in severity and all six — five women and one man ranging in age from 22 to 78 years old — are expected to survive.
WATCH | Stabbing in North Vancouver may have been random:
In a written statement, Sgt. Frank Jang said IHIT investigators spent Sunday combing the area for evidence and interviewing witnesses.
Supt. Ghalib Bhayani of the North Vancouver RCMP said the department shares “the community’s grief and outrage.”
“Lynn Valley Library is a peaceful place. A place where our community comes to learn and our children come to explore.”
Susie Chant, member of the B.C. Legislature for North Vancouver-Seymour, said she arrived at the scene shortly after paramedics on Saturday.
“I saw victims being stabilized, people trying to help each other to be calm,” she said in an interview on Sunday, after laying a wreath outside the library.
The pile of flowers and wreaths left just outside the caution tape cordoning off the crime scene grew throughout the day as residents stopped by.
“I think this just so illustrates how much of a community we are,” Chant said. “Lynn Valley in specific, and North Van in general, is a place where the community cares for each other and wants to do the right thing.”
Mayor thanks bystanders, first responders
District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little offered thanks to bystanders who intervened to help the injured and to first responders who quickly arrested the suspect.
He said a wellness and resiliency centre has been established at Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre to offer resources to people affected by the attack, including those needing grief counselling.
“No one expects to be confronted with violence while going about their day in a civic plaza outside a library,” Little said. “It’s an absolute shock.
“I know our community will continue to stand strong and support one another. That’s just how North Vancouver is.”
The Canadian Press reports that according to Quebec court records, a Yannick Bandaogo who was listed at the time as living in Gatineau, Que., and who, like the suspect, would now be 28 years old, failed to appear in court on two occasions last year, resulting in warrants being issued for his arrest.
The scheduled court appearances in July and September 2020 were in relation to alleged breaches of conditions imposed following previous infractions.
In September 2019, Bandaogo had pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon causing bodily harm.
A year earlier, Bandaogo was sentenced in October 2018 to one month in jail for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest in Longueuil, Que., a suburb of Montreal. On the same day, he was also sentenced to four months for assault causing bodily harm and three months in connection with two other assault cases.
Speaking to The Canadian Press, Alain Boismenu, the owner of a Longueuil boxing gym where Bandaogo trained for about a decade, said he was shocked when he found out his former student had been charged in a British Columbia attack.
“I just about fell off my chair,” Boismenu said.
“It’s not the same Yannick I knew at the gym, where we were a big family. We won together, we lost together.”
Boismenu said the young man was committed to boxing, sometimes coming twice a day to train. But he said he hadn’t seen Bandaogo for about three years and had been told through a mutual friend that he hadn’t been doing well.